As some of you have heard already, Huntsville, Alabama radio host Scott Moore has been throwing around claims that he has audio recordings of Cam Newton's father Cecil attempting to auction Cam off to the highest bidder. He says that Cam was present when Cecil asked Mississippi State for more money, that the NCAA has copies of the recordings, that the NCAA is looking into Auburn's recruiting practices in the state of Arkansas, that an FBI agent told former MSU player John Bond that Cam "will be a footnote" in its Colonial Bank investigation, and, most potentially alarming to Tennessee fans, that Cecil says on one recording he'd received a $200,000 offer from Tennessee but would give the Bulldogs a $20,000 discount.
Should Tennessee fans be alarmed? Coming on the heels of last week's Notice of Allegations, any suggestion that Lane Kiffin and/or his staff offered money to a recruit certainly gets your attention. But it's important to note that even if you consider the statement as true, it's not "Tennessee offered to pay retail for a Heisman winner," it's "Cecil Newton told Mississippi State that Tennessee offered to pay retail for a Heisman winner."
That's an important distinction. Also important is that for all of the talk about the tapes, they haven't been released. The guys purportedly in possession of these tapes just keep talking about them, but they haven't played them for anyone. As Mr. SEC says, it's time to either put up or shut up. They reportedly haven't played them yet because they want to be paid for the privilege. The Cammy Cam Pie is tasty and exponentially divisible, apparently.
Also, the NCAA has been giving Tennessee body cavity searches for 18 months or so, so you'd think last week's Notice of Allegations would have mentioned this particular one, and it didn't. Someone go ahead and double check the redactions, but if I remember correctly, the most mysterious redactions involved the basketball program. The NCAA's also been snooping around Auburn and Cam Newton for some time now, so you'd think we'd have known about this already from a source other than a radio host. On the other hand, it was Yahoo! that broke the Reggie Bush scandal way back in 2006, long before the NCAA got around to it.
Alabama fans are certainly interested. How often do you get to fantasize about both of your biggest rivals going ashes to ashes and dust to dust at the same time? Toomer's trees are just icing on the cake.
But that's all it is at this point, a daydream for 'Bama fans and a hazy mirage of a nightmare for Vol fans. Tennessee's success in deflecting its football troubles from the program to Lane Kiffin and his staff personally may become that much more important further down the road.
So what do y'all think? Should Tennessee fans be concerned?